International Journal for the Study of New Religions, Vol 2, No 2 (2011)

Rebooting The Family: Organizational Change within The Family International

Sanja Nilsson
Issued Date: 31 Dec 2011


The Family International (TFI) is a religious movement that emerged in the late 1960s. It was founded by David Berg (1919−1994), who later came to be perceived by adherents as the End-Time Prophet. The movement is based on Christian theology but has never had more than 10 000 followers. It has, however, made itself internationally famous through a radical interpretation of the Bible and critique of mainstream society. The Family has received media attention partly due to its liberal views on sexuality. The group is well-known within the research field of sociology of religion and new religious movements, and has been extensively studied as a “high-tension” group that has limited and regulated contact with mainstream society.
Although there are some excellent in-depth case studies on the Family, the group is constantly changing due to its theology being based on continuous prophecy. This means that the group’s doctrines and praxis have changed considerably over the course of its 40-year history. This article examines the latest change in The Family International, called the Reboot, which was implemented in September 2010, in order to get a clearer picture of what constitutes this shift. This article also aims to show how changes in social boundaries due to the implementation of the Reboot are perceived by some members of The Family International.

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DOI: 10.1558/ijsnr.v2i2.157

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